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Beauty The rise of stick-on beauty

Oct. 20, 2021

This year, we've seen a fair share of beauty trends on social media, from dewy skin to intricate nail designs. But internet beauty gurus have another trend to look forward to: stick-on beauty. 


Stick-on beauty encompasses everything its name suggests. Whether it be flowers or gems, artists stick non-conventional materials onto their face using various types of glue. 

Ali, also known as @sweetmutuals on Instagram, considers herself one of the pioneers in this trending makeup style. Since starting with simple jewels and rhinestones, she's experimented with miniature dinosaurs, reflective duct tape, and more.

"I've been an artist ever since I could hold a pencil in my hand. So I decided to make my face a canvas," said Ali. "I like to challenge everyday makeup and make it my own."

For Maria Luneva, who goes by @supinatra on Instagram, nature is at the core of all her looks. Whether it be tree branches or flower petals, she utilizes nature's gifts as her inspiration. 

"My inspiration comes from symbiosis of nature, admiration of nature, visions of nature, and how I can utilize it in my art. It's not an everyday makeup look, but it's a journey for myself," she said. 

For her first makeup look, Maria took a mushroom that she found on the ground and made it into an ear cuff. In her next project, she used eyelash glue to stick flower buds onto her eyebrows to form a miniature field. Since then, she's continued to grow her skills and explore more intricate looks. 

"I have strange ideas about makeup," she said. "I see flowers, and I think about how I'll utilize them. I see the beauty of petals, and I want to showcase it on my face."

Meanwhile, Ali frequently uses gems to challenge conventional makeup looks.

"We see bedazzled purses and bedazzled jackets, but we never see a bedazzled face. If you can bedazzle a jacket, why can't you bedazzle a face? It's just a play on tradition," she said.

But her inspiration doesn't just come from sticker sheets—it also comes from her emotions. On a day when she's feeling down, Ali might use darker shades. "That's where the colors and blending come in and just being able to see what colors go together to create a story," she explained.

Like Maria, real-life items are a source of inspiration for Ali. In one makeup look, she glued bright red cherries to her eyelashes to contrast her vibrant blue eyeshadow. In another, she glued an assortment of actual flowers to her face. 

"It all starts with [putting] that first sticker on your face. I just go for it and see if it comes out the way I want it to," Ali said. "For one look, I remember sticking Sailor Moon clay pieces on my face, and it was one of the hardest looks I've done. There was also a lot of glue everywhere, but I just trusted the process. It ended up looking really, really cool."

The Sailor Moon look wasn't the only difficult one that Ali created. For another design, Ali used shards of crystals—and what was supposed to be a 30-minute project took hours. 

"It's common with stick-on beauty. You think that [a specific look] is what you want to do, and you get ready to take the photo, and all of a sudden, your items are just swooping and sliding all over. It's all about patience," she said.

As stick-on beauty becomes a rising trend in the social media sphere, Ali advises those who are interested in this type of beauty to go out there and try it themselves. 

"Not all art is meant to be understood, and not all art is meant to please people. If you don't like it, that's cool. It's not going to stop me, and it shouldn't stop anyone who decides to pursue this field," Ali mused.